Organizers of the two-year-old Students Helping Students (SHS) program are planning to tighten requirements for upperclassmen guides this year and enlist faculty help to expand the program.
"The guides will be more carefully chosen this year," Arthur J. Kyriazis '80-2, an organizer of SHS, said earlier this summer. Last year more than 250 upperclassmen guided, advised and informally showed Harvard to all incoming freshmen who wanted to participate in the program.
Basing his estimates on evaluations conducted last spring, Kyriazis said about half the freshmen met regularly with their assigned upperclass advisers, but that 10 to 20 per cent of them met only once or twice. He added that this year he will insure guides contact their advisees more frequently.
The 15-member staff of SHS assigns freshmen to their advisers on the basis of similar interests. This year SHS will have slightly more than 200 guides, each advising from two to five freshmen.
SHS will send a barrage of letters to faculty members this year to establish links with academic departments and to get professors working on the program, Kyriazis said. SHS advisors are not supposed to give official academic advice, Kyriazis added.
"I'd like to see us do well just to show that students can do a good job as advisers and are responsible enough. We also want to be more personal than other advising services," Kyriazis said.
SHS was implemented as an organization complementary to Crimson Key, the Freshman Task Force, Room 13 and other advising services, Kyriazis said. The program is based on a "senior-sibling" program held several years ago at the Quad and on a similar plan at the University of Pennsylvania, Kyriazis says.
About 70 per cent of the Class of '82 participated in the program. "The program appear to have worked," Kyriazis said. He added that nearly 40 per cent of the students who applied to be advisers to the Class of '83 were freshmen last year.
Kyriazis said he expects at least 70 per cent of the freshmen to participate again in the program. "About a quarter of the students have brothers or sisters here or think they already know what is going on," he added.
Freshmen generally will not contact their upperclass guides, he said. The guide has to make the first call.
Kyriazis called SHS a "no-loss proposition." If freshmen get an added perspective through advice on the University from upperclassmen, it is their gain, he said.
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